labour ( labours plural & 3rd person present) ( labouring present participle) ( laboured past tense & past participle )
in AM, use labor
1 n-uncount Labour is very hard work, usually physical work.
also N in pl, oft supp N
...the labour of seeding, planting and harvesting..., The chef at the barbecue looked up from his labours; he was sweating.
2 verb Someone who labours works hard using their hands.
...peasants labouring in the fields... V
Her husband laboured at the plant for 17 years. V
3 verb If you labourto do something, you do it with difficulty.
For twenty-five years now he has laboured to build a religious community. V to-inf
...a young man who's labouring under all kinds of other difficulties. V under n
4 n-uncount Labour is used to refer to the workers of a country or industry, considered as a group.
oft supp N
Latin America lacked skilled labour..., They were cheap labour.
5 n-uncount The work done by a group of workers or by a particular worker is referred to as their labour.
oft poss N
The unemployed cannot withdraw their labour<endash>they have no power.
6 n-proper-coll In Britain, people use Labour to refer to the Labour Party.
They all vote Labour.
7 adj A Labour politician or voter is a member of a Labour Party or votes for a Labour Party.
...a Labour MP..., Millions of Labour voters went unrepresented.
8 verb If you labour under a delusion or misapprehension, you continue to believe something which is not true.
She laboured under the illusion that I knew what I was doing... V under n
You seem to be labouring under considerable misapprehensions. V under n
9 verb If you labour a point or an argument, you keep making the same point or saying the same thing, although it is unnecessary.
I don't want to labour the point but there it is. V n
10 n-uncount Labour is the last stage of pregnancy, in which the baby is gradually pushed out of the womb by the mother. I thought the pains meant I was going into labour.
in AM, use hard labor
Hard labour is hard physical work which people have to do as punishment for a crime. n-uncount
The sentence of the court was twelve years' hard labour, to be served in a British prison.
labour camp ( labour camps plural )
in AM, use labor camp A labour camp is a kind of prison, where the prisoners are forced to do hard, physical work, usually outdoors. n-count
labour force ( labour forces plural ) Thelabour force consists of all the people who are able to work in a country or area, or all the people who work for a particular company. (BUSINESS) n-count usu sing
Labour-intensive industries or methods of making things involve a lot of workers. Compare capital-intensive. (BUSINESS) adj
Construction remains a relatively labour-intensive industry.
labour market ( labour markets plural ) When you talk about thelabour market, you are referring to all the people who are able to work and want jobs in a country or area, in relation to the number of jobs there are available in that country or area. (BUSINESS) n-count usu sing
The longer people have been unemployed, the harder it is for them to compete in the labour market.
In Britain, the Labour Party is the main left-of-centre party. It believes that wealth and power should be shared fairly and public services should be free for everyone. n-proper the N
The Labour Party and the teaching unions condemned the idea.
in AM use labor relations
Labour relations refers to the relationship between employers and employees in industry, and the political decisions and laws that affect it. n-plural
We have to balance good labor relations against the need to cut costs.
A labour-saving device or idea makes it possible for you to do something with less effort than usual. adj usu ADJ n
...labour-saving devices such as washing machines.
in AM, use slave labor
1 n-uncount Slave labour refers to slaves or to work done by slaves.
The children were used as slave labour in gold mines in the jungle...
2 n-uncount If people work very hard for long hours for very little money, you can refer to it as slave labour., (disapproval)
He's been forced into slave labour at burger bars to earn a bit of cash.